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Canadian Rockies

Mother’s Day in the Canadian Rockies

Spring has sprung, and Mother’s Day is just around the corner—May 13th, to be exact. We know that you would neverforget to plan something special for your mom on Mother’s Day, but just in case your other plans have fallen through, here are a few ways to celebrate the woman who made you who you are.

Lake Louise

Can you express a deep appreciation for your mother with more than an “I love you”? Yes. You can. Book the Mother’s Day Package at the Post Hotel and your mom will forget that you have siblings (you’re the only one she needs, right?). The package includes one night’s accommodation, Mother’s Day brunch for two, a spa treatment for your mom at the Post Hotel’s Temple Mountain Spa, and a welcome fruit and wine gift. Prices start at $599 for a room with two double beds.

If a full night in Lake Louise isn’t in the cards, make a reservation for the Post Hotel’s annual Mother’s Day Brunch. A buffet-style spread of both savoury and sweetdishes (including lobster, fine cheeses, European pastries and everything in between) will land you in the good books for years to come.

To book the Mother’s Day Package or to make reservations for brunch, call 403.522.3989

Banff

Sunshine Village loves mothers and wants kids aged 6-17 to show their love, too. Any mom accompanied by a child can ski for FREE on Mother’s Day (mothers can ski for free with the purchase of a regular priced Child or Youth ticket).

Before you get out skiing, stop in at the Juniper Hotel and Bistro for the Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet. Because it starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m., you can get there early and eat brunch for breakfast, or you can get to the hill, ski a few runs and then make your way to the buffet for an après ski meal. If you miss out on brunch, worry not! You can show your ski pass between 3-6 p.m. and receive 25% off the Après Ski menu.

For reservations, call 403.763.6219

Canmore

Start your Mother’s Day in Canmore with a brunch buffet at Chez Francois. You can tell your mom how much you love her as you indulge in eggs Benedict, French toasts, crêpes, cheese platters, desserts and more. You can make it a personal experience by reserving a table for just the two of you (you’re obviously the most thoughtful sibling), or you can make a reservation for the whole family. Adults can dine for $35/person, while kids can eat for between $7-$16.95 depending on their age.

After the brunch buffet, get outside for some fresh air as you take a walk alongside the Bow River. While your mom admires the colour of the clear water, surprise her with a gift certificate for a Canmore Float Tour (a signature experience of the Rockies). You’ll feel really good about yourself because you got 20% off the gift certificate by using the promo-code MOTHERSDAY*, and because your mom will tell you that you are her favourite child.

*Book online at https://canmoreriveradventures.rezdy.com/156728/canmore-float-tour. Float tours begin June 9th. The promo-code is valid from now until Mother’s Day.

 

Jasper

Your mom deserves something beautiful this year and there is nothing more stunning than mountain views. Thankfully, the SkyTram Summit Restaurant is offering a Mother’s Day menu, so you can treat your mom to breakfast and take in the sights at the same time. Ride the Gondola to the restaurant, feast on eggs Benedict and then hike the short trail to the top of Whistler’s Mountain for a selfie, so your mom can show all her friends how great you are.

If your mom isn’t the brunching type, take her out biking instead. There are tons of laid-back trails in Jasper that are perfect for spending a little quality time with mom. Need advice on where to go? No problem! The Jasper Mountain Biking Guide has all the trail info you need, and Jasper Trails Alliance on Facebook is a great resource for checking the trail conditions and closures.

Finally, take your mom to the Miette Hot Springs where she can get the much-needed rest and relaxation she deserves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come Home to Canmore: Greet Adventure from your Front Door

Promotional Material

Those unfamiliar with Canmore may think of it as the gateway to Banff National Park, yet for those who live here, Canmore is a basecamp for mountain adventure and unique cultural experiences. It’s the kind of town that you can visit for a weekend, only to realize that you’d rather never leave.

The clean alpine air and mountain vistas summon you outside even on the coldest days, and the mountains provide welcome shade from the hot sun in summer months. Canmore is a diverse community, and its growth is easily attributable to visitors quickly realizing that while a weekend in Canmore is nice, a lifetime in Canmore is ideal.

The landscape of Canmore feels vast, but the amount of land available for residential building is limited. Preserving the natural environment is critically important, which means the chance to purchase a new home is a rare opportunity. Unlike in Banff where there is a ‘need-to-reside’ policy preventing part-time and vacation ownership in the townsite, Canmore offers those interested in mountain living a place they can hang their coat after a day outside.

Stewart Creek, nestled at the base of the iconic trio of peaks known as the Three Sisters, is a neighborhood filled with open and green spaces begging to be explored. It’s close to downtown, yet it affords the quiet, laidback lifestyle for those trying to get away from busy urban centres.  When you need them, scenic river pathways lead you into the vibrant town centrewhere you can experience a variety of shops and services, restaurants, artisanal offerings, markets, unexpected events and festivals.

The innovative, contemporary mountain architecture of Stewart Creek reflects a rustic lifestyle and luxury, and the community attracts newcomers and longtime residents, first-time homeowners and retirees.  The breathtaking open views offer something for everyone.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Stewart Creek you’ll enjoy the convenience of working with homebuilders such as Devonian Properties, Distinctive Homes, Quantum-Place, Renaissance, Versant at Stewart Creek, NuAlpine, and Legend Developments. These builders want to customize or modify homes to fit your needs and fulfil your dreams. Offering a range of homes–from single-family to duplex-style and multi-family units, the builders of Stewart Creek design and construct residences to accommodate any lifestyle.

The best way to experience Canmore is close up, so do it! Come to town, visit Stewart Creek and pick out the views you will look forward to for decades. Take a walk through a show home or sales center and stay a while; Canmore is your home now, too.

For more information on Three Sisters Mountain Village, visit tsmv.ca.

Three Sisters Mountain Range

A view of the Three Sisters

Park Yourself in Banff for Fondue at the Distillery

By Calli Naish

When you move to a new town, you subconsciously search for old familiarity in the new surroundings. Cheese, bread, good whiskey—these are some of my old faithfuls – and thankfully, although I just recently moved to Canmore, I have some good company to share my food with. On a near weekly basis, we meet in Canmore, Lake Louise or Banff and study the comfort of food in one of far too many establishments to choose from. Our most recent savory library was Park Distillery.

As the name suggests, this restaurant offers no shortage of cocktails to choose from, and cocktails were our first order of business. We settled on two beverages of completely different styles both made from Park Distillery’s own spirits. The Backcountry Tea was selected for its rye base, sweet citrus flavours, and mint melodies. The tasting notes of the tea didn’t appeal to me, so I opted for the bolder flavours offered by the Observation Peak. I would be lying if I said I chose it for any other reason than the smoked cedar square it wore (which is currently being used as an air-freshener in my car, still exuding a log cabin fireplace aroma each time I open the door). Perfection.

With drinks suiting our personalities in hand, we were shown to our table and we sipped in happy silence while perusing the menu, which offers a variety of starters, smaller bites, shareable items, and full campfire-style dinners. It didn’t take long before we had decided that we were in need of a little cheese therapy and ordered the Banff Ave. Fondue to start and, believing that the chicken would be a nice lite fare after this decadence, two orders of the ¼ Rotisserie Chicken as our main. While we waited for our orders we took in the atmosphere, which is a little rustic Canadian, and a little industrial pub. Warm plaids and dark woods create a laid back feel, and are complemented by the denim-clad servers, while the garage doors and metallic sheen off the glass cased still remind you that this isn’t your average “backcountry cabin” themed restaurant. If we’d shown up on time we’d have been able to tour the distillery, but we showed up a little later than 3:30, and so simply admired its copper presence from a distance. The place was busy but comfortable, and thankfully there was minimal wait as we were quickly dipping into our first course.

We were presented with a large fondue pot of bubbling Gruyere, accompanied by several pieces of lightly toasted bread, a selection of pickles, sliced pear and radish. In a matter of minutes were considering asking for more bread as we had consumed all but the radish slices (neither of us particularly like radish) and were left staring longingly into the lingering cheese. Before we had a chance to ask for additional dipping items the forks had been drawn and the pot impolitely consumed sans bread. We shamelessly enjoyed every molten bite so much so that before our second course had even arrived, we were already discussing how we were going to be set for lunch the following day. Despite our fullness, we welcomed the delicious sight of two plates of rotisserie chicken on beds of mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables, garnished with grilled lemon and tiny skillets of gravy. Needless to say, we made room and gorged ourselves on a second course that was as satisfying as the first.

An experience as fulfilling socially as it was nutritionally, the Park Distillery is definitely on my “again” list. With a cocktail list that has a variety of tastes in mind and fondue for days, it should probably be on everyone’s “try” list. If you do go, maybe pair your sharable dishes with some of the smaller bites. Or follow in our footsteps, allow your eyes to be far bigger than your stomachs and stretch your dining experience into tomorrow’s lunch.

Spring Skiing in the Rockies

With warmer weather in the forecast, we can finally start thawing out after a particularly cold and snowy winter. So take off your coats, put on your sunglasses, and head for the patio; it’s time for some spring skiing!

Photo courtesy of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Music

Spend a weekend at Sunshine because starting April 7th, Sunshine Village will be hosting concerts every Saturday and Sunday afternoon! Get a few runs in and then head over to Mad Trappers where different artists perform each weekend.

 

Visit Lake Louise on any of these incredible musical weekends!

March 31/April 1 – BIG FONTS

April 7/8 – Abbey Rodeo

April 14/15 – Aaron Pollock

April 21/22 – Sam Bailey Band

April 29 – Rumspringer

May 5/6 – DJ CAIN.1 + Friends

 

Head to Panorama for the High Notes Music Festival on March 23-25th. Friday night features an evening of live music, food and wine. See headliners Jay Gilday, The Burn Ins, and Scenic Route to Alaska on Saturday night!

 

Get excited for the Whitetooth Grill concert series at Kicking Horse!

March 24 – Eric Larocque

March 31 – John Jenkins’ Small Town Revival

April 7 – Eric Larocque

April 14 – The Pickups

 

Check out the Kokanee Freeride event at Marmot Basin on April 14th. The whole event takes place at the mid-mountain Paradise Chalet Patio so that you can catch a few rays while you listen to live music and chow down on a BBQ lunch!

 

Slush

Shake the Lake will have you dancing, feasting and cheering! On April 28th, head to Lake Louise and watch (or compete) in the Rail Jam/Slush Cup extravaganza! There will be a daytime après ski party and an after party in the Lodge of the Ten Peaks!

 

The Slush Showdown Pond Skimming Cup will be awarded at Panorama on April 7th. Can you make it across the pond?

 

The Slush Cup & Pig Roast Party takes place on April 15th at Kicking Horse. Throw on a costume and try to cross 75m of slush!

 

The Slushshine Rail Jam at Sunshine Village is part Rail Jam, part Slush Cup, and it is going to be a blast! So sign yourself up, or mark your calendar for May 19th, and watch riders and skiers take on a series of challenging features set up over water!

 

The Slush Cup on May 21st at Sunshine Village is the last slush cup of the year, so plan to be there and get rowdy while competitors attempt to make one last skim across the pond!

 

Just for Fun

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Kicking Horse Sugar Shack on March 24th and 25th where you can try maple syrup on snow, listen to live music, and eat A LOT of taffy!

 

Compete in the ShredAbility Fundraiser at Sunshine Village on April 7th! This mountain treasure hunt has teams of two completing adaptive challenges all over the mountain in support of Rocky Mountain Adaptive!

 

Test your building skills and design a dummy for the Panorama Dummy Downhill on April 8th! Can your creation make it down the slopes, or will it crash? (don’t worry there’s a prize for that too!)

 

Hula downhill on April 21st at Marmot Basin’s Aloha Cup! This all-ages race is full of banked turns, rollers and small jumps; it’s a fun way finish off the season. There are prizes for fastest run and for best costume, so grab your skis and dress to impress!

 

Get creative and build a cardboard sled for the Annual Lake Louise Cardboard Box Downhill Derby on April 22nd! Prizes will be given to the 3 fastest racers and the three coolest sleds, so remember: style counts!

 

Whether you are singing, skiing, or soaking wet (post-slush cup), enjoy your sunny spring days on the slopes!

The Best of Banff: Bison Restaurant

If you’re looking for a restaurant where bright and airy meets romantic and rustic, look no further than the Bison (211 Bear St, Banff). The restaurant boasts natural light thanks to three walls worth of windows, and the recently renovated space now gives customers an intimate look into the kitchen where the seasonal, regional, and Canadian menu items are prepared.

Dining Room at the Bison Restaurant

The renovated space at the Bison boasts bright light and an open concept. Photo Credit: Orange Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to say what the best part of the Bison is because there is so much to appreciate; from the menu to the service, the Bison doesn’t cut corners.

If you’ve dined at the restaurant before, you’ll notice some changes to the current menu—fear not, though, because the same farm-to-table ethos is present in your options. Instead of filling up on one main dish, the portion sizes of the dishes have been made smaller so that you can order more to your table. Even better, the prices on the menu reflect the smaller portion sizes so that what you spend on several dishes now is what you would have spent on one main dish in the past. The menu is such that you don’t have to limit yourself to one choice, and sharing is made easy.

Knowing where your food comes from is also made easy: the menu features a map indicating where ingredients are regionally and provincially sourced. Should you need some recommendations, order (I repeat, ORDER!) the heritage wheat sourdough with cultured, housemade butter. There’s butter, and then there’s butter from the Bison (I’m still trying to figure out how I can bulk order their sourdough and butter). For main dishes, don’t hesitate to order the Alberta lamb or the bison burger.

Sourdough at the Bison Restaurant

Heritage Wheat Sourdough
Photo Credit: Orange Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alberta Lamb Bison Restaurant

Alberta Lamb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bear & Flower Pork Katsu at Bison Restaurant Banff

Bear & Flower Pork Katsu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bison Burger at the Bison Restaurant Banff

Bison Burger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want a restaurant experience that makes you feel like you’re at a Calgary hot spot with Banff scenery, you won’t be disappointed at the Bison. The service is excellent and the waitstaff are well versed in all aspects of the menu so that recommendations and suggestions are educated and thoughtful responses to your needs and desires. Everyone from the hostess to the manager treats you like you’re someone important, and in a transient town like Banff, that level of service isn’t easy to find.

Eating at the Bison makes me feel like I’m a cooler person than I really am. You might feel that way, too.

Make a reservation by calling (403-762-5550) or by visiting the website where can book a table online (www.thebison.ca) for dinner or for Sunday brunch.

Table for Two at the Bison Restaurant

Get cozy and comfortable at a table for two at the Bison Restaurant.
Photo Credit: Orange Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Nicky Pacas

 

 

 

 

Nordic Tradition in Canadian Plaid

By Calli Naish

Tall trees and taller mountains: there couldn’t be a more perfect backdrop for Alberta’s first Nordic Spa. Nestled so comfortably in the Rockies that it seems like it has been there all along, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa combines elements of relaxation with the healing properties of water to create a spa experience unlike any other. The best part? You can stay ALL DAY LONG!

Hot tub with a view

Relax in the Spa Lodge

Founded in the Kneipp tradition of hydrotherapy, the spa features a series of outdoor pools of varying temperatures. You begin in a hot pool, then move to a natural pool slightly above body temperature, followed with a quick dip in the cold plunge pool before doing it all over again. This heat-cool-repeat cycle is designed to stimulate circulation and detox the body. The spa’s laid-back atmosphere, however, means there is nothing keeping you from spending all your time in the hottest tub or lounging in the salt-water float pool.

Hot Pool and Heated Robe Station

Hot Pool 

Cool Plunge Pool 

The spa also features Finnish, Barrel and Banya saunas, heated hammocks, social fire areas, and two steam cabins. The Eucalyptus Steam Cabin will use eucalyptus oils and the Alchemist Steam Cabin will offer a series of aromatherapy oils to compliment the changing seasons. There will also be an exfoliation cabin (not open at the time of this post) where you can rejuvenate your skin through self-exfoliating aromatic salts.

Finnish Sauna 

Barrel Sauna 

The spa is designed to accommodate everyone. Those who thrive on social energy may join in the company of others on the social side of the spa; however, those who are interested in meditative healing may enjoy the waters of the quiet pools or while adrift in the float pool (to be completed this summer).

Comfort in the Spa Lodge

The Spa Lodge has eight treatment rooms (and two couples’ rooms) where you can book a deep tissue, hot stone, or relaxation massage. The lodge is also home to the Spa’s Bistro where you can sip and savour with a view of the mountains.

Champagne in the Spa Lodge

The Relaxation Lodge, which will open in the summer, allows you to pair healing water therapies with mental recovery (which we could all use a little more of). There will be a dream lounge, a meditation labyrinth, heated lounge chairs with personal music stations, and finally, a 30-person yoga studio complete with aerial silk hammocks that yoga enthusiasts will appreciate .

The Spa Lodge and Bistro

The spa sells natural and sustainable beauty products by [comfort zone]. Currently, two lines are available (Skin Regimen and Tranquility), with plans to include more product lines as time goes on. Additionally, [comfort zone] Aromasoul oil blends will be featured within the spa treatment rooms and lodge.

Skin Regimen by [comfort zone]

Tranquility by [comfort zone]

Creating a “hot tub with a view” may have been the original goal for the spa renovation, but the Kananskis Nordic Spa has become so much more. Spa creators, Hank van Weelden and Jennifer Buckler, speak with such passion about their vision for the Knordic Spa that it is clear the project is a labour of love. Every detail has been curated to create an environment of true Canadian hospitality. So forget the typical spa stuffiness and slip into a guest robe designed in Canadian plaid. The tartan represents the four seasons in Canada, and the spa creators hope that you will embrace each of these seasons with equal fervor.

Canadian Plaid Robes

It’s all in the details

Planks made from trees felled at the site

Live edge wood adds to the rustic atmosphere of the spa

Founded on tradition, built of trees felled at its site, and immersed in Rocky Mountain culture, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa is designed to accommodate everyone by providing an atmosphere of collective healing and regeneration. Outside, the pools and buildings blend into the surrounding scenery seamlessly; inside, you are welcomed by the smell of cedar and the calm of a modern, yet rustic, communal space. Plaid robes, mountain air and Nordic knowledge: it is a place of mental and physical recovery enjoyed equally during the cold Canadian winter or in the short mountain summer.

Fireplace in the Spa Lodge

Phase 1 of the Knordic Spa is complete and will be open on weekends with most amenities available.

Phase 2 will be completed this summer.

Top 5 Spa Treatments in the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies are known for fast-paced activities like alpine skiing, mountain running, cross country skiing, biking, hiking, and rapid-fire Instagram posts. But sometimes, it’s nice to slow down, relax a little, and soothe your body after a day (or days) of mountain pursuits. Even if you haven’t pushed your body to its physical limits, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the exceptional spa treatments available in the Canadian Rockies; a little self-care goes a long way.

1. Aromatic Moor Mud Wrap

Winter’s cold weather can be really hard on our skin. Battling the frigid temperatures of the outdoors and the dry air of the indoors can leave skin feeling a little lizard-like, especially if you’re not used to the climate of the Rocky Mountains.

At Wild Orchid Salon and Spa in Jasper, indulge in a Moor Mud wrap to exfoliate your skin and absorb the rich vitamins, minerals and enzymes of the warm aromatic mud. Wash away the mud (and your stress) in a cleansing steam shower before your skin is moisturized with high-quality products.

If you are someone who is prone to chronic pain, fatigue, rheumatism/arthritis pain, or post-sports injury, this treatment will alleviate sore muscles, aches and pains as your body’s circulation is stimulated.

To request an appointment, call 780-852-2111

Moor Mud Wrap Wild Orchid Jasper

 

 

 

 

 

 


2. Purifying Detox Facial

A new addition to the Spa at the Chateau Lake Louise, the Purifying Detox 60-Minute Facial is created to address all skin types and to help reverse environmental signs of aging. Unique purifying products powered by fruit enzymes, purple clay and essential oils, detox and deep clean your skin so that you can make the most of your wellness experience in Lake Louise.

To book an appointment, call +1 403 522 1545

Detox Facial at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Couple’s Massage

Relax and connect during a couple’s massage at Wildflower Massage and Esthetics in Canmore. While two people receive massages from two different therapists at the same time, a couple’s massage can encourage bonding and mindfulness, and it’s a great way to carve out time with a partner.

While studies have shown that couples who work out together report higher levels of connectedness and motivation, it’s also important to slow down and share in the recovery together, too. The benefits of massage will see both partners with reduced pain, anxiety, and stress.

Book online or call 403.678.4644

Couples massage at Wildflower in Canmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Signature Pedicure

When was the last time you thought about taking care of your feet? And not just putting on clean socks or keeping your toes warm, but really taking care of your feet? Our feet go through a lot: we shove our toes into too-tight ski boots, we wear fashionably freezing footwear, we step on pieces of abandoned Lego, and more than once, a toe has stubbed the corner of a bedframe.

At the Meadow Spa in Banff, thank your feet for all they do by getting a Signature Pedicure. The pedicure includes a soak, cuticle work, nail shaping, exfoliation, a soothing foot mud wrap, a lower-leg massage, a paraffin treatment, and a pressure point massage on the bottoms of the feet.

Call 866-379-0022 or 403-760-8577 to book your appointment

Pedicure Room at Meadow Spa Banff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Mountain Hot Stone Massage

No trip to the Canadian Rockies should ever be complete without a visit to the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs, and no one should ever go without a hot stone massage. In a Mountain Hot Stone Massage, feel the release and relief of deep-seated tension. During your treatment, an expert therapist uses a combination of hot basalt river stones, healing hands, and a warmed oil blend of lavender, ylang ylang, ginger and eucalyptus. You will leave with a feeling of increased mobility and relaxed muscles, while the aromatic oil blend will leave your senses feeling uplifted.

Call (403) 762-1772 for more information or to book your treatment.

Hot Stone Massage Fairmont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to relax in a spa setting without getting a treatment? Many spas allow clients to use their facilities by paying an access fee. Among many features, the Willow Stream Spa boasts three waterfall whirlpools and an indoor European mineral pool that are guaranteed to melt away your stresses and soothe your soul. At Meadow Spa in Banff, you can access the rooftop pools, private spa hot pool, sauna and fitness facility. Call for bookings and availability.

Fairmont Banff Springs Mineral Pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Nicky Pacas

10 Tips for Winter Camping in Jasper National Park

 

By Calli Naish

Photo by Ryan Bray courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

They say there are only two seasons in Canada: Winter and July. And while some Canadians curl up indoors only venturing out for their morning Tim Horton’s fix, the crazier Canucks refuse to miss an opportunity to get outside (even if it’s well below 0°). For those of you who need to test your cold temperature tolerance, here’s a list of winter camping tips (because being prepared isn’t just for the Boy Scouts!)

 

1. Location. Location. Location.

 

Photo by Jeff Bartlett courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

Choosing the right place for your winter camping excursion depends on your experience, your equipment, and ultimately, what your plans are while you’re roughing it. Whether you plan on skiing, snowshoeing or just sitting fireside, there are 5 campgrounds in Jasper National Park that can accommodate your winter adventures.

 

Photo by Adam Greenberg courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

For a detailed description of Jasper’s winter campgrounds, see the end of this post.

 

2. Pack Smart

 

Brian Catto, a Senior Parks Canada interpreter who organizes the programming at the Whirlpool Winter Hub (including the Learn to Winter Camp program), gives great advice for winter camping. He stresses that those who venture out need to understand that summer and winter camping gear are not the same. For example, most people who camp in the summer use a 1-season tent, but for winter camping you need a 4-season tent. Understanding these differences and knowing what to pack are essential to having an enjoyable winter camping experience.

If you are new to camping there are resources to help you get your packing started. MEC has put together a great Winter Camping Gear Check List and Parks Canada has a Winter Backcountry Equipment Checklist. Although these lists may include items above and beyond what you need for a short weekend camping excursion, they will help you build a customized list for your own trip. Add your fat bike and head to Pyramid Lake so you can try out the Pyramid Front Trail, or bring your skis so you can spend a day on the slopes at Marmot Basin.

 

If you have some unchecked boxes on your equipment list, you can find camping gear at any of these Jasper stores:

Totem Ski Shop and Everest Outoor Store sell tents, sleeping bags, various camping items, how-to books and even some packable snacks.

Gravity Gear sells camp stoves and fuel, as well as last-minute items like headlamps.

Wild Mountain sells tents and sleeping bags, including a sleeping bag that’s rated for -29°C!

 

3. It’s all in the Set-Up

 

Photo by Ryan Bray courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

This tip is primarily for the tenters out there because if you are camping in an RV, you will have most of your set up already completed. No matter where you sleep, make sure that you have lawn chairs or foam pads for the picnic table so that you aren’t sitting in snow (try Heat-A-Seats for extra warmth).

 

Tent Tips

Dig a small area in the snow for your tent so that you have some shelter from the wind.

Pack down the remaining snow so that you have a flat surface for your tent and to prevent sinking in the snow at night. This will also prevent you from stepping in a soft spot of snow and tearing through your tent floor.

Stake that tent! Don’t be deterred by the hard ground, winter weather is variable and often windy so it is important to make sure your tent is secure. Though it is easier to drive stakes into the soft snow, you can purchase stakes that will push through the frozen ground.

 

4. Dress to Impress Stay Warm!

 

Photo by Jade Wetherell

 

The key to enjoying winter camping is never feeling too cold – this means layering! Brian Catto emphasizes the importance of knowing how to properly layer for winter weather. Lucky for you we have an entire blog (and article in our magazine) dedicated to teaching you how to layer for winter warmth. Make sure that you pack extra layers so that you always have a dry change of clothes. Also, throw an extra set of mitts and a spare toque in your bag because cold fingers and ears will seriously bring down your pro-winter vibes.

 

Facing a drop in temperature you aren’t prepared for? Stop in at Löle, Jasper Source for Sports, Totem Ski Shop, Everest Outdoor Store, Edge Control Ski Shop, Gravity Gear, Wild Mountain, or On-Line Sport for some last-minute layers.

 

5. Sweet dreams are made of heat

 

Photo by Ryan Bray courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

The only thing worse than feeling cold is feeling cold when you are trying to sleep. To prevent a night of tossing, turning and shivering, you will need:

The right tent – the only tent for winter camping is a 4-season tent.

The right sleeping pad – those super comfortable, air-filled camping mattresses create a cold layer of air between you and the ground. For winter camping choose a sleeping pad with an R-value of 4 or more.

The right sleeping bag – you will need a sleeping bag that’s rated for the cold temperatures that you expect while camping. Brian notes to keep in mind that the accuracy of these ratings will vary from person to person. If you are the type of person who gets cold in September and stays that way until May, you’ll want to be prepared with some comfortable layers you can wear to bed.

 

6. Get Active

 

Photo by Ryan Bray courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

If you are going to brave cold nights, make the most of your sunny days! There are tons of great activities in Jasper National Park that will let you explore and get your heart pumping, including cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and fat-tire biking.

 

Photo by Jeff Bartlett courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

If you don’t have your own equipment for an activity that you want to try, you can rent!

Edge Control Ski Shop (cross-country skis, skis/snowboards)

Everest Outdoor Store (snowshoes)

FreeWheel (fat bikes, skis/snowboards)

Gravity Gear (skis/snowboards, snowshoes)

Jasper Source for Sports (cross-country skis, fat bikes, skis/snowboards, snowshoes)

Totem Ski Shop (skis/snowboards, snowshoes)

 

7. More than Marshmallows

 

Photo by Chris Hendrickson courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

Sitting around a fire and roasting marshmallows might be the most iconic camping scene of all time, but winter weather takes round-the-fire moments from quintessential to essential. Fires are perfect for drying out your ski socks and warming up before calling it a night. Check out Leave No Trace for campfire guidelines and make sure that you are prepared with fire starters, paper, kindling, and an extra lighter.

 

Once you’ve built a roaring fire, throw on some fire resistant apparel before settling in for campfire stories; you don’t want to find holes in your GORE-TEX ski jacket in the morning. Wool is naturally fire-retardant so it’s a good time to pull out that oversized itchy wool sweater from grandma.

 

8. Don’t be Hangry

 

Cold weather and active days are going to leave you hungry, and making meals in mittens isn’t an easy task. Quick and easy meals will help you avoid hanger-fuelled moments that you might regret later. Single pot entrées, freeze-dried meals and no-cook eats are great options for winter camping meals. Plus there is no better way to wake up on a wintery morning than with a warm bowl of instant oatmeal and a hot cup of coffee.

 

If your campsite does not have water, don’t worry! You are surrounded by an abundance of it and, since you will likely need boiling water for much of your cooking, melting snow won’t even add a step. However, it’s important to remember that melted snow and clean drinking water are not the same thing. Boil snow for at least 10 minutes and consider using water treatment methods before drinking.

 

9. Let there be Light (and Power)!

 

It gets dark early in the winter, which means if you aren’t prepared for nightfall you will be setting up your camp stove, lighting your fire, and making your dinner in the dark. Although accomplishing all this sans light would be highly impressive and would likely earn you a nod from Bear Grylls, it is going to be worth your while to have a few extra flashlights and headlamps kicking around to light up your nights.

 

We all know that nothing kills a cellphone battery faster than cold weather. And while you might pride yourself on your lack of iPhone reliance, it is important to be able to call for help in case of emergency. Plus you will want to take pictures while you are out exploring. A portable power pack is small, packable and will keep your phone functioning long enough to snap a few shots of the winter wildlife and National Park scenery between selfies.

 

10. Turn up the Heat

 

You’ve probably noticed that the general theme of these tips has to do with keeping warm. Really this is the best advice anyone can give you when it comes to spending your days and nights outside in the cold Canadian winter. Here are a few additional notes on keeping your body temp up while you are accessing your rugged winter side:

 

Hand/foot warmers – instant warmth for frigid toes

Hot water bottles – pour a little of that boiled snow into a hot water bottle for added heat when you snuggle into your sleeping bag

Sleep with your boots – there is nothing worse than putting your warm feet into cold boots. Take the liners out of your boots and wear them while you sleep or put your boots in a waterproof bag in the bottom of your sleeping bag.

 

 

 

Camp on Campers!

 

 

Photo by Nicole Gaboury courtesy of Tourism Jasper

 

 

 

Wapiti Campground

Location: 5.6 km South of Jasper just off of Highway 93

 

Camping Style: RV/Tent

 

Suitable For: New campers

 

This frontcountry campground is a great place for those who are new to winter camping as it is close to town and has all the amenities of home including electrical, washrooms (with showers), and potable water. Each site has a fire pit, and firewood is included with your daily fire permit (just grab it from the pile). It’s also great for those looking to get out skiing as it is on the way to Marmot Basin, so you can be first on the road and first on the hill!

 

 

Whirlpool Winter Hub

Location: 21.4 km south of Jasper, just south of Marmot Road on Highway 93A

 

Camping Style: RV/Tent

 

Suitable For: Active families

 

A frontcountry campground great for active families because of the 25 km of groomed cross-country ski trails that begin from this location! The campground is also home to the Whirlpool Winter Hub where Parks Canada hosts a variety of interpretive activities on Family Day weekend. This campground is further from town than Wapiti and does not have electrical, potable water or flush toilets, making the winter camping experience a little more rustic. However, the sites do have fire pits and firewood is provided with your daily fire permit.

 

Note: Sites at Wapiti and Whirlpool Campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it is recommended that you arrive early! These winter campgrounds are self-registration and daily fire permits are required.

 

 

Hidden Cove

Location: 4 km down Maligne Lake, 48 km from Jasper at the end of Maligne Lake Road (cross-country ski or snowshoe access only)

 

Camping Style: Tent

 

Suitable For: Experienced campers with prior cross-country ski/snowshoe experience

 

This is a great backcountry campground for small groups or families with older kids who are able to manage the trek in. The site has 4 tent pads, a fire pit, a grey water pit, a cook shelter, picnic tables and food storage lockers. Access to this site requires travelling over the frozen Maligne Lake so only plan to winter camp here between mid-January and early April. And make sure you read these guidelines on safe ice travel before heading out.

 

 

Big Bend

Location: 7.8 km south of Sunwapta Falls, 55 km south of Jasper on Highway 93 (access by cross-country ski or snowshoe)

 

Camping Style: Tent

 

Suitable For: Experienced campers with prior cross-country ski/snowshoe experience

 

Another great backcountry option for experienced cross-country skiers in small groups. The site has 4 tent pads, a fire pit, food storage cables and picnic tables. The trail follows a wide fire road and the campground is close to the Athabasca River with views of Dragon Peak.

 

Note: A permit is required for backcountry camping. You can obtain a permit online or by calling 1-877-737-3783.

 

 

Wilcox Winter Campground

Location: 107 km south of Jasper just off Highway 93

 

Camping Style: Tent

 

Suitable For: Experienced campers who are comfortable accessing the location by snowshoe (when conditions require)

 

Staying at the Wilcox Winter Campground allows hardy campers to stay in the Columbia Icefields (Parks experience the icefields parkway in winter). Wilcox Creek Campground is a frontcountry campground during the summer months, but is considered backcountry in the winter as camping is only permitted at the Wilcox Pass Trailhead. There are no amenities available at this location.

 

Note: A bivy/camping permit is required to camp at the Wilcox Winter site call 780-852-6176 for more information.

 

 

Best of the Backcountry: Mount Engadine Lodge

The last time I stayed at Mount Engadine Lodge, I was 16 years old and my dad was turning 50. I’d spent years within the same proximity of the Lodge, skiing and training on the Mt. Shark cross-country trail system a few kilometers up the road, but I never had the opportunity to stop in and see the space. During the celebration of my dad’s birthday (to which my parents had invited several close friends), I seem to recall everyone having a really good time. What I remember of my personal time at the Lodge as an unimpressionable 16-year-old is that I slid the family SUV into a snow bank after finally being granted the rights to a learner’s driving permit.

Looking to replace my shameful memory of bad driving, I found myself back at Mount Engadine, 16 years later, 16 years wiser, and ready to create new (but no less impactful) memories.

Everything about Mount Engadine Lodge is welcoming, even the signs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mount Engadine Lodge is located at the bases of Mt. Engadine and Mt. Shark in Spray Lakes Provincial Park. Easily accessible from Calgary and Canmore, and operated by Castleavery Hospitality Ventures Inc., the Lodge is a backcountry dream. It’s a space that reminds me of a deep backcountry lodge: there is no cell phone reception; there are no televisions; and meals are served so that everyone sits together at one big table, family-style. It’s a space that begs you to slow down and to enjoy being. Because of its location in the Provincial Park –one away from major highway traffic and light pollution— Mount Engadine Lodge is a good reminder of what silence sounds like; it’s a rare type of quiet that makes me appreciate being disconnected from my phone and email.

If you *have* to connect to wifi, it is available in public areas. Connecting with the fireplace is a lot more rewarding, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike a deep backcountry lodge, however, Mount Engadine is open all year and you can access it by car whenever you want. It doesn’t take a helicopter ride or an elaborate five-hour ski to get there. So if you want to bring your luxury bathrobe and a change of clothing for every possible weather event, go ahead and do it.

 

Even when the weather is frightful, the deck at Engadine is delightful. You can also see some of the guest cabins near the main lodge. Photo credit: Sebastian Buzzalino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you never left your room at Mount Engadine Lodge, no one would blame you (especially because the rooms come with locally-made soap from the Rocky Mountain Soap Company). Photo credit: Sebastian Buzzalino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most backcountry lodges, the experience at Engadine is intimate. Accommodating a maximum of nineteen guests each night, the all-inclusive style of the Lodge encourages guests and staff to connect through conversation during meals, which often leads to conversations between meals, too. What begins as small talk about the day’s adventures among guests quickly evolves into praise for Chef Mandy Leighton’s three-course dinner (for your reference, during my stay I was treated to a plated appetizer of elk ribeye, a main course of grilled herbed chicken with mushroom and white wine risotto, and grilled broccolini, and finally earl grey crème brulée for dessert). It’s praise that comes upagain during breakfast, afternoon tea, and when you open your bagged lunch.

Brunch is made better with mimosas. Photo credit: Sebastian Buzzalino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re an adventurer, Mount Engadine Lodge’s location is perfect for quick access to backcountry skiing terrain, groomed cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing and fat biking trails. There are sets of snowshoes and two fat bikes designated for guest use, so if you don’t have your own equipment or if you want to dip your toes into some outdoor winter fun, the Lodge has you covered. And at the end of the day, no matter what you did (or didn’t do), you’ve earned yourself a seat in the wood-fired sauna.

Skiing in the meadow below Mount Engadine Lodge. Photo credit: Noel Rogers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect grooming on the Mount Shark cross-country ski trails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mount Engadine Lodge really delivers. From the setting to the meals, and from the activities to the accommodations, the new memories that I’ve formed have successfully replaced the shadow of my 16-year-old self, and they encourage me to return to the Lodge as frequently as possible—something that I plan on doing, whether for the night or just for brunch.

For more information on Mount Engadine Lodge (including details on making reservations for Sunday brunch), click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Nicky Pacas

For the Love of Love! Valentine’s Day in the Canadian Rockies, Part 2

Let’s get real for a second: Valentine’s Day is so much more than one day. It takes coordination. It takes foresight. It takes the perfect card or box of chocolate curated well in advance of what is touted as the most romantic day of the year.

Remember in the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast when the Beast asks Cogsworth how he should win Belle’s love? Cogsworth tells him to do the usual things: “flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep.”

For Valentine’s Day this year, don’t be a Cogsworth.

Last week we gave you some suggestions for how to show your love, and we’re back with a new list for you this week. The editors at Where Canadian Rockies are rooting for your Valentine’s Day success!

 

Valentine’s Week at the Creek

Maybe you love love so much that you want Valentine’s Day to last longer than one day. Maybe you don’t want to feel the pressure of demonstrating your love on February 14th and you think the 15th is more meaningful. Whatever your feelings are, think about booking a package at Baker Creek Mountain Resort in Lake Louise.

When you book a room through their “Valentine’s Week at the Creek” package, Baker Creek offers you a sweet treat upon your arrival, complimentary skate and snowshoe rentals, a fire pit reservation with an unlimited wood supply, and a fireside gourmet hot chocolate and s’more station.

The offer runs from February 14th to February 18th and starts at $150/night. There is also a special Alberta Resident Room Rate that starts at $139/night.

If you really want to impress your Valentine (or yourself, for that matter), enjoy the specially crafted tasting menu at the Baker Creek Bistro ($39 per person, plus tax and service).

For more information or to book your room, call 1-403-522-3761

Baker Creek Mountain Resort

Cozy up by the fire at Baker Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love’s-a-Brewin’ at Kicking Horse

If ‘beer’ and ‘Valentine’s Day’ are synonymous for you, book a seat at the 2018 Brewmaster’s Dinner hosted in the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort on February 16th.

At 7700 feet with 360-degree alpine views, experience mountaintop dining with canapés and an appetizer from the menu that boasts Surf & Turf and Vegan Pasta for entrées and a deconstructed lemon pie for dessert. Yes, you read that right: a deconstructed lemon pie (va va voom!)

You’ll also hear from Kent Donaldson from Whitetooth Brewing, and from Paul Walker of Stanley Park Brewing. At $79 (plus tax and gratuities) per guest, celebrate Valentine’s Day (or beer) on a Friday and show your true love that Brewmasters know how to do things right.

For booking or more information, call 250-439-5553

Dine on top of the world at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eagle's Eye Restaurant at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Picture yourself taking in the 360-degree mountain views during the 2018 Brewmaster’s Dinner. Photo: Liam Glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For when Two is Better than One

Mountain Wellness Day Spa in Jasper makes it impossible for you to pull a Cogsworth with their Spa Packages for Two. Choose packages that range from a couple’s massage to body exfoliations and wraps (mimosas included!) to impress your best Valentine (or Galentine).

If you really want to step things up, book a Deluxe Package for Two offered exclusively at the Chateau Jasper location. Choose a Romance, Escape, or Wellness package and soak in their tub-for-two (…bathing suits optional!). Spa Packages for Two are offered all year, so we won’t blame you if you start celebrating Valentine’s Day on a weekly basis

For information or booking, call 780-852-3252

 

There is nowhere else you need to be once you’re on the massage table at Mountain Wellness Day Spa in Jasper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Market for Love

If you are in Canmore on February 14th, book a table at the Market Bistro in Three Sisters and enjoy an evening of delicious food and live music. The three-course menu features scallops, a baked goat cheese salad, beef brisket, salmon wellington, and a lava cake.

In 2017, the chef at Market Bistro was awarded “Best Chef of the Festival” at Canmore Uncorked and we can see why. The flavours on the Valentine’s Day menu are sure to impress, and at $55 per person, Valentine’s Day can be affordable but taste expensive.

Dinner seating begins at 5 p.m. with live jazz starting around 6 p.m.

For more information and for booking, call 403-675-3006

 

My Fair Romance

All year, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge offers a Romance Package and we think there’s no better time to take advantage of it.

Stay for two nights in a Fairmont Room and receive wine and chocolate truffles upon your arrival, a $300 credit at the Fairmont Spa, a dinner for two, and daily breakfast at the ORSO Trattoria.

Starting at $599 per night, the Jasper Park Lodge will make you feel like royalty.

For more information, click here, or call 1-866-540-4454 to book your package.

The Romance Package at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge includes a $300 credit at the Fairmont Spa

 

 

Top 5 Things to do at the Canmore Winter Carnival

Winter often gets a reputation for its harsh weather, keeping us locked indoors, and for a muted colour palette. But we think winter deserves to be celebrated! While winter weather can sometimes hurt our faces, it also lets us ski and skate and slide. We can drink hot chocolate without regret (we need it to stay warm, right?), we can cozy up to warm fires, and we can experience our mountain terrain in different ways. There’s also no better way to celebrate winter than to take part in the Canmore Winter Carnival, which runs from February 1st to the 11th. With lots going on, here are our top five things to do this year:

 

1. Opening Night!
Friday, February 2

Bring your kids and celebrate the opening reception of the Canmore Winter Carnival at the Canmore Civic Centre. From 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., grab a marshmallow and cozy up to a bonfire while you take in live performances and a DJ. A display of children’s art will also be on show.

Maple Taffy Temptations. Photo by Jvan Ommeren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ice Carving Competition at the Civic Centre
Saturday, February 3

The Ice Magic festival in Lake Louise is over, but the magic lives on in Canmore! Watch carvers impressively transform blocks of ice into sculptures that fit this year’s theme of Hockey. Competition begins at 9 a.m. with judging at 3:30 p.m. Is there a sculpture that you like the most? Cast your People’s Choice vote and see who wins the award at 4:30 p.m.

Joe Martin of Canmore works on his first place award winning owl ice carving at the annual Ice Carving contest in the Canmore Civic Centre at the Canmore Winter Carnival on Sunday, February 5, 2017. photo by Pam Doyle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Snowy Owl Kid N Mutt Races
Sunday, February 4

The Canmore Nordic Centre hosts world-class competitions on a regular basis, and this event is no different! Come up and cheer on teams of kids and sled dogs as they race for glory and kibble. Races are ongoing between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

While you’re up at the Nordic Centre, why not try a drop-in cross country ski lesson at Trail Sports? On weekends and holidays, the local shop located at the Nordic Centre hosts 1.5 hour group lessons (both skate and classic techniques are offered) for $45/person. No pre-booking is required, although you need to register by 10:30 a.m. Lessons begin at 11 a.m.

Kid N Mutt Races at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Photo by Pam Doyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Rogers Hometown Hockey
February 10 & 11

If the good ol’ hockey game is the best game you can name, then make sure you experience a weekend-long celebration of all things community, and all things hockey! The event takes place in downtown Canmore on Main Street (8th St) and at the Canmore Civic Centre.

There will be performances by On-the-Bench and by country music star, Paul Brandt. You can also take part in family-friendly activities like the Rogers Fan Hub, the Sportsnet Virtual Photo, a McDonald’s Ball Hockey Rink featuring local Minor Hockey teams, a Playmobil Kids Zone, the Scotiabank Community Locker Room, a Dodge Stow n’ Go Challenge, a Dr. Oetker Giuseppe Pizzeria, and much more.

With community events like pancake breakfasts to fuel you up, you can be at your best for the live pre-game and NHL game broadcast between the Calgary Flames and New York Islanders, hosted by Ron MacLean and Tara Slone.

You can also catch a glimpse of hockey greats, Ryan Smyth, Brendan Morrison, and Lanny McDonald

Parking in Canmore is limited, so ROAM Transit is offering free local transit service on February 10th and 11th. For information on the transit schedule, click here.

For more information on Rogers Hometown Hockey, click here.

 

5. Log Sawing Competition
Sunday, February 11

Grab your plaid-print flannel and make your way down to the Log Sawing Competition. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., watch feats of Canadian athleticism as competitors aim to be the faster sawyer.

All cheering should be done in Canadian (eh! eh! eh!)

Dan Brown, left, and Clayton Williams compete in the log sawing contest as Woodpecker European Timber Framing project manager Markus Temmen supervises at the Canmore Winter Carnival on Sunday, February 5, 2017. Photo by Pam Doyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information on the Canmore Winter Carnival can be found here.

Where’s Where to Après Ski

By Where Writers

So you want to après ski, eh?

From ski hills to yoga studios, and breakfast joints to late night pubs, we’ve created the definitive list for après ski activities in the Canadian Rockies. Without bias, we can certainly declare that our list if the best list. Read on!

 

Pre-après your Day

Sometimes the most important part of your ski day happens before you squeeze your feet into boots.

Saltlik Steakhouse Caesar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretch out before you head out with lululemon Banff. They host free Sunday morning classes so that you can get ready for a whole day of skiing … or recover from one.

Fuel the whole family at Craigs’ in Canmore. This classic diner serves hearty breakfasts that are sure to give you energy for the entire day.

Late night? Rally in Canmore with a fresh-pressed juice from Toniq or a Hangover Wrap from Harvest (718, 10 St., Canmore). If you are in Banff and feeling a little worse-for-wear, grab a day-saving Caesar at Saltlik. Rumor has it that any of these cures will have you back on the slopes in no time.

 

Wear your Ski Boots

In a mountain town you can wear your gear with pride, so long as you know where to go…

Get your après on at these on-hill locales (goggles optional):

  1. The Caribou Lounge at Marmot Basin offers food and drink specials every weekend from 2 till 5 (and that includes Friday).
  2. Mad Trappers resides in the original Sunshine Village ski lodge, so you can après the same way the very first skiers did. Sunshine’s other favourite end of day spot, The Chimney Corner, offers fireside lounging for cold days and an outdoor terrace for sunny ones.
  3. It’s said that the Kokanee Kabin at the Lake Louise Ski Resort has the “best draught deck in the Rockies,” but we’ll let you be the judge of that.
  4. Stop for a late lunch or an early après on the deck at Nakiska’s Mid-Mountain Lodge, or pop up to the Finish Line Lounge for a post-ski poutine.
  5. Pause for a pint at Norquay’s Lone Pine Pub before heading back down into Banff.
  6. If you’ve crossed over into BC for the weekend, treat yourself to a traditional Raclette Après at Panorama’s Elkhorn Cabin, or take in live music and après specials from the Whitetooth Grill at Kicking Horse.

If you can make it up the stairs in your ski boots, we’ll lay a bet that you can dance in them too. You might head to Wild Bill’s in Banff for the drinks, but you’ll wind up staying for dinner and likely late into the night when the live music starts and the real fun begins!

 

Grab Some Grub

Some of us are in it for the adventure, some of us are in it for the party, some of us are in it for the scenery, but ALL of us are in it for the FOOD!

Mountain Mercato Après Ski Special

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bite into the burger of your dreams at Eddie Burger (137 Banff Ave., Banff). The Grass Fed Rancher has us drooling, but maybe you’ll go for the Aussie Burger (topped with grilled pineapple, beets and a fried egg!). No matter what toppings you choose, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied.

If your post-hill cravings are for finer fare, the Juniper Bistro in Banff offers an après ski lounge menu starting at 3 pm, and Murrieta’s in Canmore offers half price appies and $5 beer and wine, Monday to Friday 3 to 6 pm.

Mountain Mercato (817 8st., Canmore) is a local favourite, and with their beer and panini combo for $15, we can understand why. Head there between 4 and 6 pm to get yours.

Baker Creek Bistro in Lake Louise offers their winter appetizer menu from 2 to 5 pm. These seasonal selections pair beautifully with fireplaces and afternoon cocktails.

 

Get Your Game On

If the slopes were great, but you spent all day worrying about the score, don’t worry; you can catch up on all your favourite teams (and Olympic athletes) no matter where you are in the Rockies.

Montana’s Game Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re in Jasper, O’Shea’s has game night specials and Montana’s has great game day door prizes.

In Banff you can cheer on your team at Melissa’s and you won’t miss one word of the commentary because each table has its own speaker. Join passionate locals at Tommy’s, a favourite hangout of everyone in Banff.

Pull up a chair anywhere at the Iron Goat in Canmore. The two-story restaurant has TVs on both floors so you won’t miss the game no matter where you are seated.

 

Après Hour is the Happiest Hour

We’re pretty sure that après ski is French for Happy Hour, no matter what you say.

Crazyweed Crab Fundido

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazyweed In House Smoked Camembert

 

Jasper Brewing Co. has great vibes and luckily, the end of your ski-day coincides nicely with their Happy Hour. From 3 to 6 pm, enjoy $4 pints of local brews and $1 off mixed drinks from the bar.

Canmore’s Crazyweed calls 3 to 5 pm “Crazy Hour”, probably because they offer a crazy awesome sharing menu including Taber Corn & Crab Fundido and In House Smoked Camembert.

From 5 to 7 pm you will find daily drink and food specials at the De’d Dog Bar & Grill in Jasper. This means $6 pints of seasonal ale and Sriracha cod Sandwiches on Saturdays, and steak night Sundays with $5.25 pints of Keith’s.

 

Soothe It Out

If dinner sounds nice, but your sore legs have you feeling wobblier than Bambi on ice, maybe try out a few of these active recovery methods first.

Wildheart Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildheart Studio

 

Do your stretches at Canmore’s Wildheart in their Snow Flow yoga class on Monday and Saturday evenings. This class is designed to help you relax into a deep stretch after a day on the slopes as well as build strength for your next lengthy ski day. Jasper Wellness offers a similar class, Après Activity, on Saturday afternoons at 4 pm. This class will help you finish off your day by re-lengthening.

The Willow Stream Spa at the Banff Springs offers a variety of massages including a deep tissue massage to help your muscles recover from strenuous exercise or you can soak it out in one of the three waterfall treatment whirlpools.